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Targeting stem-like cells could prevent ovarian cancer recurrence

March 12, 2019 / University of Pittsburgh

Ovarian cancer is not the most common form of cancer, but it's among the deadliest. That's because about 70 percent of cases recur. A new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh, UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, Magee-Womens Research Institute (MWRI) and several other collaborating institutions target the root of recurrence with new drugs aimed at annihilating stem-like ovarian cancer cells. The study, published today in the journal Cell Reports, identifies a new experimental drug, 673A, that specifically kills the stem-like cells that tend to linger after chemotherapy. In a mouse model of ovarian cancer, combined treatment with 673A and chemotherapy resulted in significantly greater survival rates. "You can think of stem-like cells as seeds. They put down roots and grow into a plant," said Ronald Buckanovich, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine at Pitt, director of the Ovarian Cancer Center of Excellence at MWRI, and co-director of the Women's Cancer Resea...